UFO watchers to flock to Bucks tomorrow
M. Night Shyamalan famously filmed his 2002 alien invasion flick "Signs" in Bucks County - and tomorrow, UFO enthusiasts will flock there, a location they say is increasingly becoming a hotspot for odd aerial phenomena.
M. Night Shyamalan famously filmed his 2002 alien invasion flick Signs in Bucks County -- and tomorrow, UFO enthusiasts will flock there, a location they say is increasingly becoming a hotspot for odd aerial phenomena.
Last year, the county had more than 100 sightings, more than the entire state did the year before, said John Ventre, director of the Pennsylvania Mutual UFO Network and one of the organizers of the conference.
Overall, 312 reports were filed in Pennsylvania - 225 in the second half of the year, he said.
So far, Ventre said his group, which has 133 members and 21 investigators, has been able to find explanations for about 20 percent of the cases as hoaxes or sightings of identifiable aircraft, satellites or planets.
Of course, that doesn't mean the remaining 80 percent involve alien spacecraft.
Alternative explanations include everything from optical illusions to weird weather phenomena, from experimental military aircraft to contraptions launched by pranksters.
Extra-terrestrials, though, are on the agenda at the conference, scheduled for noon to 5 pm at the Newtown campus of Bucks County Community College.
Besides Ventre and Bill Birnes of the History Channel's UFO Hunters, one of the main speakers will be Temple University professor David Jacobs, author of UFOs and Abductions and The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda.
Also, alien-like faces stare out of the webpage where advance tickets can be ordered: http://12-21-2012-a-prophecy.com/Conference.html.
Admission is $15.
Do people come in costume, like at Star Trek conventions?
"No, this is serious," he said. "It's not a Halloween party."
Ventre hopes that local eyewitnesses will also speak.
Bucks County had so many sightings that it was the focus of an hourlong show in November on the Discovery Channel's UFOs Over Earth series, he said.
Such accounts often defy easy explanation, he said.
Take the case of the Doylestown man who reported seeing six triangular craft fitted together into one six-sided shape.
In another case, a Levittown family that watched a triangular object drop shiny objects onto a tree, then retrieve the objects by levitating them.
The lab that analyzed leaves from that tree said it was exposed to high amounts of heat and radiation, and that usually high levels of boron and magnesium were present on the leaves.
Ventre, 51, a corporate security director who lives outside Pittsburgh, said he also saw a UFO during the summer of 2007.
"I saw a very bright object, moving at about 3,000 miles an hour, and it was heading to the northeast, above cloud level, maybe 5,000 to 8,000 feet," he said.
"I believe it was a metallic object reflecting the moonlight."
He talked about his experience at work, and a colleague said she'd witnessed the same thing.
Such confirmations are also getting more common, Ventre said.
"We were getting five, six people at a time reporting these sightings," he said.
For more on the Discovery Channel series, go to http://dsc.discovery.com/space/ufos-over-earth. The video available online, however, doesn't appear to include Bucks County.